How Breast Reduction Surgery Helped Me Become Myself (NSFW)

PHOTO: NICKEL STINSON
This post was originally published on April, 11th, 2016.

Like many adolescents anticipating or dealing with the fallout of puberty, my sisters and I had a healthy obsession with breasts. The three of us were four years apart, and we were all in different places on the breast-development spectrum: with none, with some, with a ton. Each of our breasts got nicknames. Mine, humiliatingly, were “Betty” and “I’m Ready To Grow” — names provided, of course, by my sisters. As the youngest, I didn’t get the honor of naming my own. I would sometimes wear a bra over my flat chest and wonder what it would be like to have breasts.

My breasts finally came in — and then never seemed to stop growing. By seventh grade, I was already a C cup. Accustomed to being ignored by boys, I was now chosen as someone’s square-dancing partner (I grew up in the country) simply because I had big boobs. It was too much too soon. My sisters ended up renaming them “Lou” and “I Grew.” Bigger breasts hadn’t freed me from embarrassment at all; they only magnified and localized it.

Men, I discovered, were inappropriately free with their opinions and stares. The obviousness of my breasts seemed to grant permission for people to make both good and bad comments. Always the avid diarist, at the age of 19 I distilled the feelings I’d been having since sixth grade: "I’m tired of people discussing my breasts, in public, as if they are common property." This sentence has been burned into my memory.

Click through to continue reading. (Warning: Many of the photos in this post are NSFW.)

*The writer's name has been changed to protect her identity.

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